Happy Holidays and Happy National Pear Month! #PearMonth
Pears are one of those tasty fruits that can be grown in the Southwest – BUT!
Pears require a certain number of chill hours to produce fruit. How many chill hours do pears need? That depends on the variety you select!
Many of the trees we grow for fruit need to have some time to “chill out.” Termed “chill hours” it is defined as a specific number of cumulative hours of temperatures lower than 45 degrees F. Some of these trees are even evergreen, like olives, but for good fruit set, they need their accumulated hours of chilling weather.
It is important to know the chilling requirements of any fruit and nut trees you plan on planting because inadequate chilling causes poor, if any, crop. Thus, knowing your local chill hours is helpful for selecting the right tree. Fruits that originated in cooler climates, like apples and apricots, will require a greater number of chill hours per winter in order to set fruit. While there are low-chill varieties of some species, you will need to match the number of chill hours of your specific area to the chill hours of the recommended variety.
Since people all over the sun-belt read this blog, I have to refer you to your local County Cooperative Extension Office. They should know the chill hours for your area.
Plan now for pears to plant this spring. Just drooling over the pear pictures in a fruit catalog counts towards celebrating Pear Month in my book. Or you can visit my Savor the Southwest blog and make this yummy pear salad!
Want to learn more? Like how to grow pears?! Look for my free lectures at your local Pima County Library branch, Tubac Presidio, Tucson Festival of Books and other venues. After each event I will be signing copies of my books, including Southwest Fruit and Vegetable Gardening (Cool Springs Press, $23). This link will take you to Amazon to buy this book. I will get a few pennies from the sale. Or you can visit Antigone’s books in Tucson.
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